School funding overhaul delayed, Justine Greening reveals

The introduction of the new Schools Funding Formula will be pushed back by a year, the Government has revealed.

The schools funding overhaul will now come into force in 2018-19: Credit: Fotolia 

The plans were due to be implemented in 2017-18, but will now start in 2018-19 to allow for further consultation, the Department for Education said.

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In a ministerial statement, new Education Secretary Justine Greening said: “Given the importance of consulting widely and fully with the sector and getting implementation right, the new system will apply from 2018-19.”

She added that responses to the first stage of consultation suggested the reforms were a “once in a generation opportunity for an historic change and that we must get our approach right”.

The existing formula has been attacked for leaving the best funded schools able to hire 40 more teachers than the worst off, with a cash variable of as much as £3,000 per pupil.

New plans include a per-pupil funding allocation as well as extra cash for additional needs such as deprivation, low academic attainment and English as an additional language.

Greening assured local authorities that their per-pupil funding and cash grant would not be cut in 2017-18 from the level of the previous year. 

And she said the minimum funding guarantee would be maintained for 2017-18, meaning each school will not face a funding reduction of more than 1.5 per cent per pupil next year through local authority funds.

Earlier this year former education secretary Nicky Morgan said the new national formula was the “biggest step towards fairer funding in over a decade”.

“It will also ensure that pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds continue to receive significant additional funding to overcome entrenched barriers to their success,” she added.

“This is a key part of our core mission to extend opportunity to all children and provide educational excellence in all parts of the country: rural and urban, shire and metropolitan, north and south.”



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